Friday, August 24, 2012

Thanh's Crab Cakes (makes 6 small and 9 large cakes)

crab cakes
I have eaten my share of crab cakes and the best ones are the ones that contain lots of fresh crab meat. Unfortunately, many places do not serve fresh crab meat, use very little crab meat, or are filled with bread crumbs. My mother gets buckets of Jonah crabs from her fishermen friends (in Maine) and she would pick the meat out and freeze them for me. I have made different versions of crab cakes but these ones are my favorite. They are moist, meaty and delicious! They are very easy and fast to make as long as you do not have to pick your own crab meat. However, if you do have to pick your own meat then I can assure you that you will enjoy and appreciate these cakes even more!

Thanh's Crab Cakes

Ingredients:

1 lb fresh crab meat (cartilage and shells removed)
1 C honey panko (Japanese bread crumbs)
1/3 C mayonnaise
2 Tbsp chopped Chinese chives
1 tsp old bay spice
1/2 tsp grey poupon mustard
1 Tbsp lime juice (juice of about 1/2 a lime) 
1/2 tsp black pepper
2 Tbsp canola oil (for frying)
Chive flowers or capers, garnish (optional)
Lettuce, garnish (optional)

Method:

1) In a medium size bowl, mix the crab meat and panko gently together, try not to over mix so the crab meat will stay intact (dry ingredients).
2) In a small bowl mix mayo, chives, old bay, mustard, lime juice, and black pepper together with a fork until well blended (wet ingredients).
3) Mix the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and gently mix until blended.
4) Form the cakes using your hands or a scooper. I used an ice cream scooper to form the cakes.
5) Place the cakes onto a plate or cookie sheet, cover with a plastic sheet and chill for 3-4 hours.
6) When chilled, fry the cake in oil.
7) Heat a medium size pan with oil over high heat. 
8) Turn to medium heat once the pan is hot.
9) Place 4 or 5 cakes in a pan, do not overcrowd and fry about 2-3 minutes or until golden brown.
10) Turn each cake over to the other side and using the flat part of a spatula to push the top of each cake down to flatten it slightly, fry for another 2-3 minutes or until golden brown.
11) Gently remove the cakes and place them on a plate.
12) Serve each cake with a dollop of the sauce (recipe follows).

Thanh's Crab Cake Sauce

Ingredients:

2 Tbsp mayonnaise
1 1/2 Tbsp capers, chopped
1 tsp chives, chopped
1/4 tsp lime juice
1/4 tsp sugar
A pinch or two of ground black pepper

Method:

Whisk all ingredients in a small bowl until well blended. 

mix crab meat and panko in a bowl (dry ingredients)
 mix mayo, chives, old bay, mustard, lime juice,
and black pepper (wet ingredients) 
mix wet into dry ingredients gently until blended
form crab mixture into the size you prefer
(thank goodness for the timer on my camera!)
cover cakes with a plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator 
fry each side until golden brown
whisk all ingredients well for the sauce
*I used 2 types of ice cream scooper to form 2 different sizes. The smaller ones are bite size. These are great for appetizers and for parties. You can make the cakes larger and serve them in a sandwich. I have served these cakes on a bed of mixed greens and herbs and they make a wonderful salad.

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